Best Movies of All Time + Tod Williams



You can watch the trailer here

(I'd like to start by saying that when I first heard of the plans to make swift on the heels of the overnight success of its predecessor, I definitely had my doubts about whether or not it would be a good film. It seemed as though the planets were aligned for this movie to fail, and I was only giving it a shot out of my pure love for my pure astonishment with Paranormal Activity. I would like to continue by saying that I am a man who can admit when he's wrong.)

It's extremely difficult to make a sequel that can be considered better than an original film, but it has been done in the past. For example, most people view Terminator 2: Judgment Day as a step up from The Terminator. Some people would argue that The Empire Strikes Back stands above the original Star Wars. The Godfather: Part II is often considered the best of The Godfather trilogy. However, to make a sequel in the horror genre that is better than the first is almost unheard of.

That's why I was genuinely surprised with the effectiveness of Paranormal Activity 2, which is good considering Tod Williams took over for Oren Peli in directing the film. I can't give away too many plot details because I don't want to ruin the movie before you get a chance to see it. However, I can say that it delivers just as many thrills and chills as the first Paranormal movie, and then some. As you can see from the trailer, we get a little bit more of a human interaction this time around; rather than simply having our young couple, we have an entire family being terrorized by everyone's favorite demon.

Katie Featherston reprises her role, and we even get a couple of scenes with Micah Sloat. However, the movie really centers around our new family (who is related to Katie in the film), consisting of the father (Brian Boland), the mother (Sprague Grayden), a teenage daughter (Molly Ephraim), a toddler son and a German shepherd named Abby. The entire family is effective and convincing, but the addition of the infant and the dog really amp up the terror.

Someone once told me that you can have a movie where a million people die, and the mass public will love the movie, but as soon as one child or one dog gets hurt, they will hate the movie in a heartbeat. This logic almost follows through here, but for some reason, the addition of both an infant and a dog only enhances the effect of the film. It's as though there's more of a human element in Paranormal Activity 2 that the original simply did not have. One of my biggest (and only) gripes about the first movie was Micah, who drove me bonkers, and I wanted him to get offed eventually. But by bringing in a baby and a dog, I feel as though the movie drew me in even more, and pulled at the heartstrings a little bit. It's not easy to see things happen to those two, but they filmmakers made it work.

In all honesty, I found Paranormal Activity 2 to be a slight step ahead of its predecessor, simply because it stuck to its roots, in a sense, while giving us more reason to empathize with the characters on-screen. I'd like to remind everyone that this is not a horror film in the vein of the Halloween remakes with your cheap thrills; this is more about suspense. If you can't let yourself fall into a film like that, then this is not for you, and you should stick to such drivel as the Halloween remakes. However, if you liked the first Paranormal Activity movie, I'd bet that you'll like this one just as much.

Movie Review Summary:Grade: A-
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2010, Brian Boland, horror, Katie Featherston, Micah Sloat, Molly Ephraim, movie review, Oren Peli, Paranormal Activity, sequel, Sprague Grayden, and more:

Relevant to: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 + Tod Williams